Hall of Famers named
Twice major winner Sandy Lyle and BBC television commentator Peter Alliss will be inducted to the World Golf Hall of Fame next year, organizers said on Thursday. The two Britons will be honored with fellow inductees Phil Mickelson, former LPGA Tour player Hollis Stacy and Sports Illustrated writer Dan Jenkins at an induction ceremony in Florida on May 7. “This is a special day for the European Tour,” chief executive George O’Grady said in a statement. “Peter Alliss and Sandy Lyle are both very worthy candidates for the World Golf Hall of Fame. Peter followed a highly acclaimed playing career by becoming a hugely admired and wonderfully entertaining commentator. Sandy played a pivotal role in raising the image and popularity of British and European golf with his exceptional winning performances in the 1985 British Open and the 1988 US Masters.” Lyle also triumphed at the 1987 Players Championship in Florida, the event known as golf’s unofficial fifth major. The Scot won 29 tournaments worldwide.
Seoul mulls golfers street
South Korea’s capital could dedicate a street to the nation’s most successful golfers, including Asia’s highest ranked player K.J. Choi, officials said yesterday. The Korea Golf Association (KGA) said it was negotiating with Seoul city officials to build the “Pioneer Road” in the financial district of Yeouido. “If the deal goes well, the street will be dedicated in March next year, featuring the handprints of those who have contributed to our golf development,” KGA spokesperson Oh Kyu-chul said. The association is collecting handprints from 34 current and former female golf stars including four-time US LPGA major champion Pak Se-ri, as well as two leading male golfers — Choi and Y.E. Yang. “Young golfers who aspire to become great athletes will be inspired and motivated by what they see featured on the street,” KGA vice president Kim Dong-wook told Chosun Ilbo.
Data for airbags collected
When overall World Cup leader Aksel Lund Svindal and downhill world champion Erik Guay navigate the tricky Saslong course at super-fast speeds this weekend, they will be also be collecting data for a radical air bag system that could have a big impact on safety in skiing. The World Cup circuit has been ravaged by a series of life-threatening injuries in recent seasons, prompting the International Ski Federation (FIS) to get together with Italian manufacturer Dainese and start work on an air bag system that has already been in use in motorcycle racing since 2009. FIS is allowing Dainese to outfit 10 athletes that it sponsors this week with special chips lodged in their back protectors that will record speed, angular rotation, acceleration and other information.
Father banned for fighting
The father of France forward Imanol Harinordoquy was banned from Biarritz’s Aguilera Stadium for the rest of the season on Thursday after invading the pitch to defend his son in a punch-up. Lucien Harinordoquy sprinted from the stands during the French Top 14 game against Bayonne on Nov. 29 to protect Imanol, who was on the wrong end of a scuffle with rival player Jean-Jo Marmouyet. Both teams were fined 5,000 euros (US$6,500) by the National Rugby League, while the Aguilera Stadium was banned from hosting Biarritz’s next Top 14 home game.
Katich could be recalled
Opener Simon Katich could be in line for a shock recall to Australia’s Test team, reports said yesterday, just weeks after being disciplined for outspoken comments about captain Michael Clarke. The 36-year-old was reprimanded by a Cricket Australia hearing this month after he accused Clarke of playing a part in his axing from the Australia team, despite averaging 45 runs in his 56 Tests. Katich was controversially dropped from Cricket Australia’s contract list in June. Channel Nine, which televises cricket in Australia, said Clarke was now behind a push to reinstate Katich, as the team looks to address their batting woes after a humiliating defeat to New Zealand. Katich’s manager Robert Joske said the player would be “willing, ready and able” to assume a place in the top order if selectors recalled him for the Boxing Day Test against India. Katich has previously said he traced his troubles to a 2009 dressing room confrontation with Clarke in which he reportedly grabbed the new skipper by the throat.
Villa out for months
Striker David Villa will be out for up to five months after breaking his left leg in Barcelona’s 4-0 Club World Cup semi-final victory over Al Sadd of Qatar on Thursday. The news also represents a setback for Spain as they prepare to defend their European Championship title in Poland and Ukraine next year. “This injury is a tough blow, but I am convinced I am going to recover quickly and am thinking about playing the [Champions League] final in Munich [in May],” Villa said on his Facebook page. Earlier in the day, after the European champions set up a final against Brazil’s Santos, club coach Pep Guardiola said: “David has fractured his leg and will return to Barcelona for an operation as soon as possible.” Villa, Spain’s all-time top scorer with 50 goals in 81 appearances, fell awkwardly in the first half and immediately signaled to the bench, before he was rushed to a local hospital in Yokohama.
MLB owners approve plan
Major League Baseball owners on Thursday unanimously approved a five-year collective bargaining agreement, ensuring labor peace for the league through the 2016 season. The players’ union announced on Dec. 1 that its executive board had ratified the agreement. Highlights of the new deal include blood testing for human growth hormone. It also puts restraints on signing bonuses for amateur draft picks and international players coming into the league.
Bonds’ sentence due
Barry Bonds was awaiting sentencing yesterday on obstruction of justice charges in connection with an investigation into a California lab that distributed performance-enhancing drugs to pro athletes. Prosecutors were asking for a 15-month jail term for US baseball’s home run king, arguing the 46-year-old Bonds’ actions were part of “a calculated plan to obfuscate and distract the grand jury from getting to the truth.” They also said that Bonds’ claims that he never “knowingly” took steroids were “patently false.” In December, 2003, Bonds was accused of lying in testimony to a grand jury investigating Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative’s role in providing steroids to world-class athletes. He owns US baseball’s single-season record for home runs with 73 and a separate record for career home runs at 762.
Chen Jifang hits the gym for at least two hours every day and has the physique to prove it. At nearly 70, she is being held up as a shining example as China orders its vast population to get fit and lose the bulge. The grandmother from Shanghai has become a minor celebrity in in the past few months after her newfound and unlikely love for working out made national headlines. After becoming a gym regular in December 2018, Chen lost 14kg in three months, and now sports the kind of flat stomach and toned muscles that people decades younger aspire to. She
’SO CONSISTENT’: The victory gave the world No. 1 and world No. 2 a 21-1 win-loss record and their fourth title of the season after successes in Brisbane, Dubai and Doha Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei and Barbora Strycova of the Czech Republic on Sunday cruised to their fourth women’s doubles title of the season at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome in their first tournament back since the suspension of the WTA Tour due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The top seeds took just 63 minutes to complete a comprehensive 6-2, 6-2 victory over unseeded German-Romanian duo Anna-Lena Friedsam and Raluca Olaru at the Foro Italico. It was the Taiwanese-Czech pairing’s first outing since they won the Qatar Open in February. “After five months, you don’t know what to expect,” Strycova told the WTA Web site.
ANOTHER SCANDAL: Searches focused on several riders, including Dayer Quintana, a source said, while the two being held were reportedly a doctor and physiotherapist French police on Monday detained two people as part of an investigation into suspected doping in the Arkea-Samsic team at this year’s Tour de France, prosecutors announced. The probe is the first significant one in several years for the repeatedly scandal-hit tour, which on Sunday wrapped up in Paris with a victory for 21-year-old Tadej Pogacar, who became the youngest winner in more than a century. Prosecutor Dominique Laurens in Marseille said in a statement that an investigation was being carried out into a “small part” of France-based Arkea-Samsic, without specifying who had been placed in custody. Laurens added that the two
Former MLB pitcher Wang Wei-chung has signed the biggest contract with a local team in Taiwan’s professional baseball history, the Wei Chuan Dragons said yesterday. The 28-year-old left-hander signed a five-year US$2.08 million contract with the Dragons, team chairman Hsu Wen-fang told a news conference. It is the biggest contract in the CPBL’s 31-year history, surpassing a three-year, US$1.36 million deal Lin Chih-sheng signed in 2016 with the CTBC Brothers. Although the overall value of Wang’s deal set a new record, his average monthly salary of NT$990,000 (US$33,886) is lower than Lin’s pay of NT$1.2 million per month in 2017